The European 4×4 world is really beginning to evolve as this decade has seen the start of some exciting new competitions including winch challenges, racing, navigation, trials and night stages.
One of the latest categories to enter the competitive world of 4×4 action sport is the Side by Side All Terrain Vehicle. These vehicles have evolved in recent years from the quad bike that we are all now familiar with. The side by side or SxS ATV’s now have their own categories within many of the large International Rallies in European and North African events, with popularity growing year on year.
The SxS buggies are built by most quad bike manufacturers, such as Can-Am, Arctic Cat and others, but one manufacturers dealership in the UK has now set up their own race series. Thanks to Jamie Thwaites and Martin Fletcher, Polaris are now getting in on the action, since 2012 they have launched their UK National series, titled SXS Racing after the side by side seating format in their four-wheel drive ATV’s. Don’t be fooled into thinking little motors mean little action, these ATVs fly around the track and through the air with out any trouble and are thrilling to watch.
The British SXS Championship competition is currently run over nine rounds on top Moto Cross and Cross Country Tracks around the UK with a choice of two categories based on engine sizes up to 900cc and 1000cc all under supervision of the MCF (Motor Cross Federation). Each round cost just £150 to enter and consists of a thirty minute timed qualifying lap, three fifteen-minute lap races and a single lap, all rewarding points to define the rounds trophy winner and eventual champion.
The regulations class the engines as stock which defines the only modifications allowed are exhaust, air intake and ECU everything else is standard as purchased from the shop. Safety defines the necessary alterations required, a 6 point roll cage and minimum 4 point race harness must be worn as well as a full fire retardant race suit, gloves, socks and boots and obviously a full face helmet with goggles.
Entry can be as a single driver or a team of two, a driver and co-pilot, it’s also the first time we have seen women taking an active part in racing not only as co-pilots but as a driver with Claire Avis currently holding second place in the 900 category.
Claire confesses she loves SXS racing in her 900cc Polaris ‘FiFi’ ‘the Pink Smurf ’ they debuted in round six last year and now she’s hooked. Coming from an engineering background her only experience was a bit of Karting, now she’s claims her consistent and reliable approach is set to achieve her goal of a podium place, with added pleasure of teasing the all male competitors with her tail dust as she passes, she’s hopeful that other women will take the plunge in to this great motorsport so that the ladies can have a category of their own within the series.
If you would like to see one of these events, have suitable land to share for a course or even dip your toe in to the sport with a second hand model you need to check out this video, then go to the website below …
For more information SXS Racing;
Video; See You on the Grid